We did get a momentary rain shower yesterday but it was over about the time it started and served mostly to crank up the humidity level to just above uncomfortable. There were storms in the area though and the resulting static crashes were enough to warrant unhooking the antennas.

Just past dinner time I gave a listen on 40 meters and heard N4QR calling CQ in between the bursts of noise. I called him back and we chatted briefly. Bob is in North Carolina, about 40 miles north of Charlotte. He was using a homebrew, three-tube transmitter that develops about 40 watts along with a Realistic DX-160 receiver.

Take a good look at that clean-looking station on his QRZ page.

Contacts like this one are precious enough you want them to last as long as possible. We pounded back and forth several times until the static crashes reached a crescendo and I thought it best to pull all the plugs on this end.

The number of operators you bump into these days using homebrew, tube-type gear is getting smaller with each passing year. But if you’re going to bump into them at all, it will most likely be on CW. I don’t suppose this kind of gear will ever completely disappear, but the TX combo with a DX-160 receiver moves the station into even more rarified air.

I remember lusting after the DX-160 back in the early 70’s and eventually buying one to replace a Hallicrafter’s SX-140 that had anchored my SWL’ing post for most of my teen years. The new solid-state Radio Shack receiver was a thing of beauty and got all my attention until I got a Novice ticket and traded just listening for two-way radio.